What We’re Reading this Summer at GFP

It’s almost summer (if you go by the June 21 date and not just when it feels sufficiently hot enough), which means it’s time to start compiling your summer reading library. I asked around at GFP, and as usual, the folks here had lots of great book ideas to help you while away those hazy, lazy days of summer.  

On my personal short list this summer is A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles and the Neapolitan Novels quartet by Elena Ferrante. Why these? Because my mom told me to read them, and I do everything my mom tells me to do (well, almost everything). I also want to read the latest by Arundhati Roy, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, and by Sherman Alexie, You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me

GFP photo researcher and production editor Emily Freidenrich is planning on reading Cork Dork by Bianca Bosker, The Idiot by Elif Batuman, and Cutting Back by Leslie Buck this summer. 

Our resident writer and developmental editor, Anna Katz, is currently reading Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (it’s mind-blowing, she reports) and is looking forward to reading Phoebe Robinson’s You Can’t Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to ExplainThe Babysitter at Rest by Jen George is also on the short list. 

Our office administrator (and a writer in her own right), Kim Bridges, is flying through YA fantasy A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge and is also reading Theft by Finding, the newest from David Sedaris. It is the first volume of his two-part diary series, and Kim promises it moves from vaguely depressing to stock Sedaris humor as you journey with him from 1977 and up to 2002. (Of course, what wasn’t vaguely depressing about 1977?) 

Sara Addicott, one of our amazing production editors here at GFP, is reading Al Franken: Giant of the Senate, as well as The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. She is also planning on finally tackling Ulysses by James Joyce on her vacation. Good luck to you, Sara. (And by the way, what about any of these constitutes “summer reading”? Geez.) 

Art director Paul Barrett knows what I mean by “summer reading.” He’s got Ninety-Two in the Shade by Thomas McGuane, The Plagiarist by Benjamin Cheever, and Trajectory by Richard Russo all lined up. He’s also planning on plowing through a large stack of regional barbeque books. 

Senior special projects editor Emilie Sandoz-Voyer is currently reading and loving Ann Patchett’s Commonwealth. She also has The Nix by Nathan Hill, Girls & Sex by Peggy Orenstein, and the first three volumes of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle books on her bedside table. (Really, Emilie? Does that last one really count as summer reading?) 

Senior production editor Dave Valencia is planning on kicking back with Everything I Need to Know I Learned in the Twilight Zone: A Fifth-Dimension Guide to Life by Mark Dawidziak; classic Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, in honor of recently deceased author Robert Pirsig; and The Master of Hestviken (tetralogy) by Sigrid Undset. Wow, a tetralogy! And I thought a quartet was impressive.  

Senior production editor Bethany Davis is throwing some YA into the mix with Lord of the Shadows by Cassandra Clare and classic tearjerker The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. She’s also got The Child Thief by Brom all queued up. 

And last but certainly not least, production editor Laura Dailey is just finishing Seattle fave and soon to be major motion picture The Boys in the Boat and is planning on finally reading Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke. Now, those are two proper summer reads. 

We hope this list gives you some good ideas, and we would love to hear your summer reading picks too!